Home » Gombe, Headlines, State News » Goje spent N5bn on food supply to Govt House -EFCC •Slams 18-count charge on him

Goje spent N5bn on food supply to Govt House -EFCC •Slams 18-count charge on him

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detailed how the detained immediate past governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, allegedly perpetrated N52 billion fraud

while in office between 2003 and 2011.

The documentation was contained in an 18-count charge of money laundering and misappropriation of public funds, filed against him on Wednesday morning at the Federal High Court in Gombe by the anti-corruption commission.

The charge was filed by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu.

In count one of the charge, the commission disclosed that the former governor spent N5 billion on supply of food to the Government House during his eight-year rule.

The count read in part: “That you, Danjuma Goje, between 2003 and 2011, conspired with four others to steal N5 billion through supply of food to the Gombe State Government House.”

According to the commission, Goje gave the controversial contract to his cousin, Alhaji Sambo Muhammed Tumu, who was also charged along with him.

Tumu was said to have been the sole supplier of food items to the Government House throughout Goje’s stay in office.

Commission’s spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, confirmed the filing of the charge to the Nigerian Tribune.

The commission had detained him since he surrendered on Monday after he had been declared wanted for not honouring the commission’s summons.

Indications, however, emerged on Wednesday night that his arraignment might come up today if a judge would be available to handle his trial.

While filing the charge at the court registry on Wednesday, the prosecuting counsel was said to have been informed that the judges were still at the ongoing conference in Sokoto, though arrangement would be made to see if a judge could be made available for his arraignment.

Nigerian Tribune further learnt that if the planned arraignment failed today, Goje would  spend the weekend in the commission’s custody, while the arraignment would now be fixed for next Monday when the conference would have been over.

While Shittu is said to be staying back in Gombe awaiting assignment of the case file, the accused, as of Wednesday, was still being detained in the EFCC Abuja detention facility, with a source disclosing that he would not be moved out of Abuja until it was certain that a judge was available for his arraignment.

Goje is also said to be having a separate charge for which he would face trial at the state High Court like the trio of former governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, his Oyo and Nasarawa state counterparts, Adebayo Alao-Akala and Aliyu Akwe-Doma.

Meanwhile, the EFCC on Wednesday arraigned the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, at the Ogun State High Court 4, in Isabo, Abeokuta, on a 16-count charge of alleged stealing and fraud, illegal deductions of local government statutory allocations and false declaration of assets.

Daniel arrived on the premises of the court in a Toyota Hiace white bus, marked ABJ BR 737 BWR, at 9.07 a.m. in company with his wife, Chief (Mrs) Olufunke Daniel and officials of the anti-graft agency. He was dressed in a cream traditional attire with a black cap to match.

The former governor, who appeared before Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje, entered the dock at 9.25 a.m. and pleaded not guilty to all the charges filed in case no. ABK/ EFCC/02/2011 levelled against him by the anti-graft commission.

Horde of Daniel’s supporters, including his former deputy, Alhaja Salmot Badru, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Chief Adegbemi Onakoya, Chief Kolapo Ogunjobi, a handful of former local government chairmen, deputy governorship candidate, Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Mrs Jokotade Odebunmi, some cabinet members in the past administration and many stalwarts of the PPN, thronged the court.

While many of Daniel’s supporters were chanting songs of solidarity, some people believed to be anti-Daniel were casting aspersions on the person of the former governor.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs,  told the court that the agency filed 304 pages of information on Wednesday, while the lead counsel for the defendant, Professor Taiwo  Osipitan (SAN), asked the court for a stand down of the case for the defence team to study the information in compliance with Section 36 sub-section 6 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Justice Mabekoje, having listened to the plea of Osipitan at about 9.27 a.m. granted a 30-minute standdown for the defence team.

As the court resumed sitting at exactly 10.00 a.m, its registrar, Mr Fatai Adesola, read the 16-count charge to the defendant.

Among the charges filed against Daniel, he was alleged to have fraudulently converted a sum of $3 million property of the state government to acquire shares of Glanvill Enthoven and Company (Nigeria) Limited.

He was also alleged to have used another $1 million to acquire shares in 21st Century Technology Limited.

The former governor was also alleged to have defrauded the state, by converting Judges Quarters at GRA Sagamu to his private use to build his house, Asoludero Court.

Shortly after all the charges were read, one of the counsel for Daniel, Mr Tayo Oyetibo, told the court that an application for bail on behalf of his client had been filed before the court, while Jacobs acknowledged the receipt of the application, but prayed the court for adjournment for him to prepare a counter-affidavit and a written address.

Oyetibo also prayed the court that Daniel should be kept in the custody of the EFCC, pending the determination of the court on the bail application.

The EFCC counsel, while reacting to some newspaper publications that Daniel was being maltreated in the anti-graft agency’s custody, described the development as offensive, adding that it was not in the character of the commission to manhandle any suspect.

Oyetibo urged the court to caution the spokesman of the anti-graft agency, Mr Femi Babafemi, against utterances prejudicial to court process in the interest of fair-hearing.

Justice Mabekoje, who adjourned sitting till tomorrow and granted the request that Daniel be remanded in the EFCC custody, advised Jacobs to warn Babafemi against trial in the media, while he also promised that security issues within and around the court would be addressed.

In another development, an Ibadan High Court will today rule on a bail application brought by the immediate former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, who is currently being detained at the custody of the State Security Services (SSS) on the orders of the court.

Other accused currently being tried along with Chief Alao-Akala on charges of fraudare his former Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Senator Hosea Ayoola Agboola and a contractor, Mr Olufemi Babalola.

The duo, also in SSS custody, will know their fate as the court rule of their bail applications today.

Chief Mamman Osuman, who is leading other lawyers, including Chief Mobolaji Ayorinde, Mr Nathaniel Oke, Mr G.M.O. Oguntade, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo and a host of others for all the accused, argued that the court had the power under Section 118 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act to admit the accused to bail.

He said since the prosecution, in one of its counter-affidavit filed in opposition to the bail applications, said investigations were still in progress in respect of other offences allegedly committed by the accused, the court should grant them bail.

In his response, the prosecutor, Chief Godwin Obla, opposed the applications for bail and urged the court to dismiss them.

He said the accused persons had placed insufficient materials before the court to warrant health consideration.

The prosecutor submitted that the accused persons had not provided enough materials before the court to enable it exercise its discretion in their favour.

Before adjourning the ruling till today, Justice Abass warned against interference in the trial of the accused, threatening that anybody who attempted to do so would face the music because he had his name, career and family name to protect.

He said nobody should make any attempt to influence him on the matter and fixed 12 noon for the ruling.

The accused were ordered to be returned to the SSS custody.


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Posted by on Oct 12 2011. Filed under Gombe, Headlines, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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